Managing Your Child’s Sleep Schedule This Holiday Season
The holidays can be a stressful time for new parents. While you’re looking forward to spending time with loved ones, you can’t help but cringe when you think about trying to get your baby to stick to their sleep schedule. Especially if they resort to epic meltdowns when they don’t get the sleep they need.
So how can you manage your child’s sleep schedule this holiday season without losing your mind? Here’s what you need to know.
How to manage your baby’s sleep routine when you’re away
If there’s anything that’s true about children, it’s that sleep begets sleep. When your baby is getting enough sleep during the day, this increases their chances of having a good night’s rest - something that’s very important for both bub and parents this holiday season.
The last thing you want to be doing is dealing with frequent wake-ups throughout the night because your baby went to bed overtired. This isn’t fun for anyone and can put a serious damper on your holiday cheer. Sleep deprivation is no joke!
So, what can you do? Especially since the majority of new parents will be away from home visiting loved ones, miles away from their usual everyday routines.
First things first, take a deep breath. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to stick to the same schedule your baby enjoys every day when you’re out and about. While there are things you can do to help your little one drift off during the day, try not to feel defeated when there are understandable shifts to your usual routines - some things are just out of your control.
That being said, there are tips and tricks you can utilise to help your little one fall and stay asleep throughout the day. Here’s how:
Move nap times forward
Put your baby down 30 minutes before their usual nap time. This gives you enough time to help your baby fall asleep without risking them becoming overtired and irritable.
Bring your pram along
If you’re staying in a house packed with lovely (and loud) relatives, your baby can easily become overstimulated and reluctant to fall asleep. If you can sense your baby becoming crabby from all the action, take a break and go for a walk with the pram. This can help your little one drift off and gives you a much-deserved break from the chaos.
Keep things as normal as possible
Try recreating your little one’s nap setting somewhere else. Bring along your white noise machine and tuck them into their favourite sleep sack. This can help your baby feel comfortable and at ease, even if they’re far from home.
Practice naps in a travel cot
If your child is used to having most of their naps in their cot at home, making an abrupt shift to a travel cot can be slightly jarring. That’s why it’s always handy to get your baby used to your travel cot before you head off this holiday season.
Put the travel cot in your baby’s room and start small by having them take one nap a day in it a couple of weeks before Christmas. This helps them get used to sleeping in a new space instead of hoping for the best when you’re away.
Find a quiet space
Sometimes the worst happens and your child point blank refuses to nap. While some kiddos can skip their naps without problems, this can spell out disaster for others who will quickly become overtired and irritable for the rest of the day.
There’s no point wasting your entire day desperately trying to get your baby to sleep. You might as well have stayed home! Sometimes it’s okay to accept defeat. Remember, this setback is only temporary. As your child gets older, these memories will be a thing of the past.
If you’re dealing with a napless situation, try finding a quiet space for your child to relax in instead. Find a quiet room and try reading their favourite books or doing other calming activities to help them wind down. While it may not be as beneficial as a nap, finding time for peace and quiet can do a napless child a world of good.
Go easy on yourself
Going against your usual routines can be nerve-racking for any parent. While easier said than done, try going easy on yourself and remember that the holiday period is short-lived. While a missed nap can feel like the end of the world, you can always get back on track when you return home. So instead of spending your entire Christmas worrying about nap routines and sleep schedules, do your best to enjoy yourself whenever you can.
Managing your child’s sleep schedule this holiday season
Trying to manage your child’s sleep schedule when you’re away from home this holiday season can be a little tricky. Try using the above tips and tricks to help your little one drift off when possible and remember that any setbacks are only temporary. You got this!